The prototype CERCLU exams for B1 and B2 levels in English
and Italian are at the operative stage in the nine partner
universities, where they have been experimented in order to validate
the work done (language contents, marking system, evaluation
criteria and technical aspects) and arrive at a quality product.
Results of the first administration allowed us to take decisions
about the following:
of items (text and related questions). As each of the four
subtests has been given a different format, a careful analysis
of the correlations either confirmed our choices or suggested a
reduction or increase of the number of questions of each subtest.
to allow the candidates for their performance. Statistics
have given us information about the average time each candidate
has required to perform in every subtest.
point for each subtest. Score
analysis has allowed us to establish the percentage of correct
answers required in order to assess a performance as ‘pass’
or as ‘fail’ and to establish different quality levels.
scheme. Application of
the correction criteria established so far has made it possible
for the researchers and test writers to elaborate a more
comprehensive and detailed document indicating the explicit
criteria against which candidates’ language performances –
written or spoken – has been judged.
test-prototypes and the results of their validation have been
examined in a detailed way by Prof. Charles Alderson from Lancaster
University (one of the main experts on testing and certification in
the world), who discussed them with the CERCLU Team in a seminar
held at the University of Padua on 23-25 October 2003.
consolidation of the professional knowledge of language testing
issues on the part of the development team (Directors and
Presidents of Italian Language Centres) and of their capacity to
act together as leaders in the creation of a standardised system
for the assessment and certification of language proficiency.
design, development and description of a test for the assessment
of two languages, English and Italian, which can be used as a
model in the extension of the project to other European
creation of a large databank of items for language assessment,
of protocols for the setting up of tests, and of systems for
managing, creating and administering tests and for collecting
and statistically elaborating the results.
from the fourth year there will be an assessment and
certification service for the benefit of the structures which
the first time there will be a system of assessment based on
levels established by the Council of Europe created ad hoc for
Italian university students. This system will be designed
specifically for the needs of national universities, and will
represent a significant saving for Italian universities compared
with commercial solutions (UCLES or TOEFL). It is hoped that
these certificates will be recognised by university language
centres at a more general European level co-ordinated by CERCLES,
the European association of university language centres .